One of our TwilightMOMS, Jennifer (aka MajorWhitlock) was able to attend a screening of Anna Kendrick’s new film ‘Up in the Air’ last week at the Austin Film Festival. She was generous enough to write up a review for us. Thank you Jennifer!! (I’m so jealous!)
If you have seen or heard of “Thank You for Smoking” or “Juno”, you’ve heard of Jason Reitman. “Up in the Air” is Reitman’s third major film on the independent movie scene and it carries all the wit and charm of his previous films.
The story is of middle-aged Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) and his amazing, high-travel career of firing people. Bingham’s whole life is packed in a suitcase and whose ultimate goal is to get 10 million Frequent Flier miles. Bingham revels in his isolation when he meets Alex (Vera Farmiga) who is essentially a female version of himself.
Then it all come crashing down when his company follows the advice of Natalie (Anna Kendrick) who is a recent college graduate who suggests they could save money by simply firing people over a live chat instead. Bingham is then forced to take Natalie on the road with him and show her what it is really like to destroy people’s lives.
Clooney and Kendrick are a fabulous comedic team together. Her business-like, yet romantic idealism clashes with his cooler and cynical ways that constantly leave the other without words. It seems redundant to say that Clooney completely absorbs his character and perform the callous businessman perfectly, this is expected of Clooney. What is much more impressive is Kendrick’s champ performance that could even outshine Clooney’s. Kendrick starts off a well-composed, smoothed-haired graduate with no idea of the real world. As she sees the hundreds of people she has to fire and the toll the traveling takes on her life we see that cool facade crack into something human. At the same time Clooney’s character goes through the same humanization process, though it’s not quite as painful to watch.
Overall, the story and comedy is tight, the editing and beautiful aerial shots are stunning and original and the acting is phenomenal. And of course not to forget about wickedly good writing. There is no doubt that this film will have the infectious success like Reitman’s previous works.
Up in the Air is due out in major theaters December 25.